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Emerging Currency and Trade Wars

Paul M. Sweezy, Harry Magdoff


Newspaper reports on fluctuations of the U.S. dollar on foreign currency exchanges have been moving up from their customary place in the back business section to front-page prominence. This increasing newsworthiness reflects a growing awareness that the almost year-long downward slide in the international value of the dollar is not simply a technical adjustment or a temporary by-product of money market speculation. In reality the gyrations of the international currency markets are surface manifestations of a growing trade rivalry among the leading capitalist nations, the result of a competitive struggle that has been warming up ever since the long post-Second World War prosperity wave of world capitalism began to subside. The manipulation of exchange rates in the ensuing stage of stagnation has been both cause and effect of a spreading protectionism which shows all the classic signs of impending trade wars.


Global Economic Crisis

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